Lighting For Galleries and Museums

The lighting of galleries and museums is one of the most complicated applications within commercial lighting design. A lighting scheme for a museum or gallery should be producing quality output that not only illuminates exhibits (to show them as the artist or exhibitor intended), but does so evenly and without over-exposing them to too many lux hours (which over time can cause damage to art and artifacts).

Galleries and Museums are generally more than just an exhibition space. A full lighting design scheme will often have to consider the challenges of lighting (sometimes in historical) spaces such as, foyers, cafes/restaurants/bars, gift shops and amenities. Any scheme must further consider the challenges of conservation and environmental targets.

When considering the exhibits, a designer must first understand the objectives of a space. Well planned lighting can lead visitors through the displays in a pre-determined direction or it can emphasise certain qualities of the art, even controlling the mood of the space (the use of varying colour temperatures plays a key role in this) to be in keeping with the theme of the present exhibition. Museums and galleries have a further unique challenge in their lighting schemes, artwork and artefacts can be damaged should they be exposed to light for prolonged periods of time (the rate of this degradation varies by exhibit).

The most damaging light waves to artwork are Ultra-Violet and Infra-Red radiation, and unfortunately these occur in natural daylight but do not tend to occur in LED output. CIBSE has categorised artwork into the degrative lighting response rates to give both a guide to how many hours of lighting they can be exposed to and at what LUX output. This must be factored in with the fact that displays are best showcased when there is general lighting and stronger accent lighting (generally around a ratio of 3:1). This means that the lower the LUX level of general lighting the less accent lighting is required.

CIBSE lighting guide 8 (LG8) illuminance guide:

Irresponsive – LUX (max): N/A – LUX Hours (max): N/A Low responsivity – LUX: 200 – LUX Hours: 600,000 (i.e. Stone and glass work) Medium responsivity – LUX 50 – LUX Hours: 150,000 (i.e. Oil and tempera paintings) High responsivity – LUX 50 – LUX Hours: 15,000 (i.e. textiles). Art in this area can vary greatly and the likes of water colours are recommended to have as little as 300 lux hours a year.

High-Quality Performance Lighting for Galleries

Drawing on 15 years of experience, GDS have manufactured and designed lighting to perfectly illuminate galleries. Our Alundra Spotlight Family represents an opportunity to find the ideal light solution for every unique exhibit. The brand-new Alundra Zoom track light was created to enhance and simplify gallery lighting. The Zoom enables galleries to have absolute flexibility, utilising a hugely impressive, adjustable (no tools required) beam angle of 55°, precise and beautiful quality of light and high CRI values (90+).

The Alundra Zoom Luminaire Details

• 91% Glass B270 Lens Efficiency • 85% Corrective Filter Efficiency • 90 CRI as standard, 97 CRI on request • Quality cast & milled aluminium body with built-in driver • 14W • 1250lm • 5–60° beam angle (Alundra Zoom Small) • 31W • 2250lm • 8–65° beam angle (Alundra Zoom Large) The Alundra Zoom is brand new to the market so please send us a message or give us a call if you would like to know more. The Bristol designed Alundra family comes in 8 different mount, find out more by clicking the button below.

Perfect Lighting Control Systems

Gallery lighting when manipulated through the right control system can greatly enhance the visitor experience of an exhibition and make its management significantly easier. Our Prodigy Lighting Control System seamlessly interfaces with existing DALI fixtures and can be operated from any smart device over web browser or app, it also facilitates individual zones of control for each fitting. Consequentially, using the Prodigy Control System gives every lit exhibit the advantage of having entirely flexible lighting.

Expert Lighting Schemes and Design for Galleries

As well as being creators of innovative gallery lighting products, GDS also specialises in Lighting Design Services. Our talented Lighting Design team work alongside our clients to create spaces that can educate, entertain and enrich every visitor experience, whilst helping to save capital through energy efficient product selection and control system utilisation. GDS tailor your specification to ensure the best suited levels of contrast, colour rendering, temperature, performance dimming, and lighting control (ensuring suitable lux levels for each exhibit) are delivered. On any gallery lighting scheme, GDS will present a mix of 3D renders, false colour renders and parts lists.

"High-Quality Performance Lighting for Galleries"